Spare a thought for South African heavyweight EFC fighter Willem Smith as he begins his long journey back to fitness after an horrific injury this weekend.
Fighting in the very first early preliminary fight of the night at EFC 92 in Johannesburg on Saturday, Smith shattered his lower right leg after landing a kick to opponent Ivan ‘The Hurricane’ Strydom in Round 1.
Smith’s leg buckled underneath him as he attempted to take a step after landing the blow and the referee had no option but to call an end to the fight due to a ‘medical stoppage’.
Commentator Cyrus Fees said: “It just absolutely shattered. The leg just hanging there.
“This sport, you’re reminded all too often how serious this sport really is and it’s moments like this that kind of remind you that they’re not playing around in there.
“There’s only a certain type of human being that’s willing to get in there and trade and fight inside of a cage”.
There’s little doubting the 42-year-old Smith will be out of action for several months – if not forever.
Smith, who fights out of Durbanville in Cape Town and is known as ‘The Viking’ inside the octagon, entered the fight with a 1-4 record.
Meanwhile, according to the official EFC website, there was once again refereeing controversy in the main event of the night, a middleweight title fight between South Africa’s Luke Michael and Pupanga Tresor of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After both fighters exchanged on their feet, it was Tresor who found himself in the ascendency on the canvas and began raining down some serious ground and pound.
Among the barrage of blows, referee Ferdi Basson perceived several to have landed behind Michael’s head and signalled the fight to be over – before changing his hands to a ‘time-out‘ gesture!
The initial waving-off of the bout confused the crowd, corners and fighters who thought that Tresor had won.
Basson then deducted a point from Tresor and restarted the fight with the positions of the fighters reversed.
With Michael now in control and delivering some heinous blows, Basson stopped the fight, declaring Michael the winner.
Large sections of the crowd began to protest with chairs and other missiles being thrown, with many calling for an immediate rematch.
At the time of publishing there was no word from the EFC whether that would in fact be the case.
It was not the first controversial incident to have involved Basson as a referee, nor to have blighted an EFC fight.
Social media predictably blew up in reaction to the outcome of the bout.
Scroll down for ALL the results from EFC 92.
EFC 93, to be headlined by Martin van Staden (South Africa) versus Ziko Makengele (DRC), will take place on Saturday, 9 April 2022 at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg.
WARNING: Graphic images and video follow:
OFFICIAL EFC 92 RESULTS:
MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT
Luke Michael def. Pupanga Tresor by TKO (Strikes) – Round 1
MIDDLEWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT
JP Kruger def. Roy Lokolo via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1
Cameron Saaiman def. Roevan de Beer via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1
WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT BOUT
Jessica Mouneimne def. Crystal van Wyk via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2
CATCHWEIGHT BOUT – 194LBS
Conrad Seabi def. Wade Henderson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nerik Simoes def. Keir Harvie by Unanimous Decision
Vandam Mbuyi def. Robert Cunningham by TKO – Round 1
Fafa Dwama def. Salahuddin Plaatjies by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Diego Bandu def. Khulekani Hlongwa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Guelor Sondi def. Hanro Enslin via TKO (Strikes) – Round 2
Guide Moyo def. Qaasim Coetzee via TKO (Ground ‘n’ Pound) – Round 2
Ivan Strydom def. Willem Smith via Medical Stoppage (Injury) – Round 1
PERFORMANCE BONUSES: Guelor Sondi and Cameron Saaiman
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Nerik Simoes vs Keir Harvey»WATCH: EFC fighter Willem Smith SHATTERS leg in HORRIFIC injury (warning)«